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The Truth Is

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Album Review

Mark Weigle is a cowboy who wears his heartbreak on his sleeve and, like the best country singers, he's masculine and sexy while embracing love, loss, and the lessons he's learned from both. In fact, he's better than many of the highly successful contemporary male country crooners — the depth and sincerity in his voice lend a tender weariness to his odes to love — but he sings so openly about his homosexuality that he stands virtually no chance of mainstream C&W success. With his laid-back, confessional style of songwriting, listening to this CD is an intimate experience and, though there are songs of death such as "One Less Dancer" and "If It Wasn't Love" (seemingly about AIDS), his melancholy is so inviting that they aren't as off-putting as they could have been. The entire album seems to have been cathartic, from the AIDS-related cuts to the tracks chronicling the struggles and the self-hate many gay people experience in finding self-acceptance. Not many albums are this personal and this inviting at the same time. Nashville strives to create the feeling of down home, but it doesn't give true artists like Weigle a chance to actually connect with audiences, despite the fact that listeners would eat this up if given the option. Standout cuts are "Take Your Shoulder From the Wheel," which holds the weariness of the range, and "If You Grew Up There," about the call of the land you grew up on. The Truth Is that this is what country music is truly about. A gem.

The Truth Is, Mark Weigle
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